Posts tagged ‘sweets’

Ladurée Macarons

My dear hubby had to get there before 9am and was the first in line, about 15mins after it open the line grew to 20 people. These were quite good and a few were amazing (black currant is my fav) great balance of flavors not too sweet. However, I still give the edge to La Maison du Chocolate for imported macarons (though I may need to go back to Ladurée soon for some jams also). There are fewer flavors at La Maison but the ganache is unbeatable, there’s no line, and you can pick up some chocolates too. So if you are in the city and find the lines too long at Ladurée, head down to La Maison du Chocolat (there are two locations in Manhattan).

September 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm 2 comments

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

My first post for the new year! I ventured away from my usual chocolate chip cookies, which I’ve been making non-stop throughout the holidays due to special requests for them. I’m not an oatmeal raisin fan, and my parents aren’t big normal chocolate chip cookie fans, so we compromised this time around and opted for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I based this recipe off the coconut oatmeal cookies from my More From Magnolia cookbook. I don’t like coconut, so I replaced them with semi sweet chocolate chips. It definitely left the cookies chewy yet crispy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. rolled oats (these are the old fashioned oats, NOT the quick cooking ones)
  • 1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a larger bowl, cream the butter with both sugars until you have a smooth texture (roughly about 2 minutes). Add the egg and the vanilla and beat well. Add your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add in the rolled oats and then the chocolate chips. Mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between them for expansion. Bake for 10 minutes. The original recipe said 12-14 minutes, but they were too crispy, almost burnt, by 12 minutes.  I used a tablespoon scooper that looks like an ice cream scoop. Baked the cookies at 10 minutes, and was able to yield 40 cookies.

The good batches came out thin, soft & chewy but had a crispy texture at the same time. I loved them, and so did everyone else at the office. Apparently, the bad batches weren’t so bad either. They were all gone in 15 minutes. 🙂

Till next time!

chelle

January 12, 2011 at 3:44 am 3 comments

Rose Honey Almond Madeleines

It’s been a while since I tried something new with madeleines. I bought organic rose powder and this was the first thing I tried out with it. I also added rose water for more rose impact. You could probably do it with rose water alone. The honey and almond are at the forefront while the rose leaves a floral aftertaste that harmonizes flavors and counters the sweetness. Short of a rose syrup (for post baking soak) the floral flavors will always be in the back seat.
Rose Honey Almond Madeleines
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp rose powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour/meal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Cream together sugar and shortening, then incorporate one egg at a time till completely blended. Add in flavorings (rose powder, rose water, honey, almond extract) and almond flour, mix thoroughly. Then add flour and baking powder with the pinch of salt, mix till smooth. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease pans throughly. Try to under fill the molds, and you can get make 2 batches of the full sized madeleine pans or about 3 batches of minis. Bake for 18 min (for full sized pans, 13-15 for minis) till the top starts to turn golden brown. Cool for 5min before popping them out.

-Lina

November 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm 14 comments

lovely fudgy brownies

This is my new favorite brownie recipe, I came up with it while trying to use up some cans of condensed milk. It has a shiny crispy skin on top and dark moist center, and can be thrown together rather fast. Melting and mixing can be done in one bowl; so there’s less to clean up.

Fudgy Brownies

  • 12oz chocolate chips
  • 14oz can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter or shortening)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • oil for pan

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt chocolate, coconut oil(or butter or shortening) thoroughly in (a heatproof)mixing bowl over slow simmering pot of water. Take off heat, mix in condensed milk first, then eggs, and vanilla. Add rest of ingredients, mix till smooth (use an electric mixer or do it in a stand mixer bowl to begin with). Pour batter into an oiled 12x16in baking dish, spread evenly. Bake for 20-25mins depending on the material of the baking dish. The top should be dry and shiny, the center dark and moist.

-Lina

February 9, 2010 at 5:47 am Leave a comment

mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies (aka ojarascas) are one of my all time favorite cookies. My brother’s friend’s family owns a bakery and they used to give my brother a tin of these every Christmas, which I was very grateful for. They’re so simple, not too sweet, and I love how they crumble and just melt in your mouth. I also enjoy the almond flavor in them. I’ve been told that even though they are called Mexican wedding cookies, they’re usually given during holidays or other special occasions. So, the cookbook my sister got me for Christmas is Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Lo and behold, there was a recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. I’ve been wanting to make them since Christmas, but this past Sunday was the first time I had a chance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. pecan halves
  • 1/4th c. confectioner’s sugar for now
  • 3/4th c. confectioner’s sugar for later
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar for rolling
  • 2 c. all purpose four
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 stick unsalted butter @ room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a food processor, combine the pecans and 1/4th confectioner’s sugar. Pulse them until the pecans are finely ground.
  • In another bowl, add the flour and salt. Whisk in the pecan/sugar mixture.
  • In the bowl for your electric mixer (paddle attachment), beat the butter and 3/4th cup confectioner’s sugar on medium/high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extracts.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dough comes together
  • Roll dough into 3/4″ balls (mine varied from 3/4″ to 1″) and 2 in. apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan at the half time point. (Mine were perfect as 12 minutes, but it all depends on your oven. If you see cracks/crinkles on top of your cookies, then they’re done)
  • Place cookies on cooling rack and allow to cool completely. In a small bowl, pour the remaining cup of confectioner’s sugar. Once cookies are completely cooled, roll cookies in the sugar.

above: flour, sugar, pecan mixture

(i realized i hadn’t taken a photo of the dough until i was almost out of it)

(see the cracks/crinkles?)

The finished product. This lil container was handed off to my local starbucks where I share all my baked goods with them. The rest were consumed by family and coworkers. I will definitely be baking a lot from this cookbook of mine. I’ve tried two recipes so far and haven’t been disappointed. Next week, SUGAR BUNS!!

– chelle

January 12, 2010 at 4:26 am 3 comments

alfajores dulce de leche

One Sunday, a few friends and myself went to Hugo’s for brunch. It’s not TexMex that’s for sure, but it’s more “authentic” Mexican cuisine. Don’t kill the messenger for calling it authentic. It’s simply what the owner states on their website. ^_^ Anyways, for a nice $30 price tag, we got our Sunday brunch buffet. The food was amazing, but what really got me was the dessert. One of the dessert items were these little cookies called alfajores. Mini butter/shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche and covered with powdered sugar. I, of course, had to find a recipe for them and make them. Here is attempt one.

I got the alfajores recipe from Nook & Pantry:

  • 1 to 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (room temp)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dulce de leche (recipe to follow)
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl whisk together the flour (starting with 1 cup), cornstarch, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Add the egg and vanilla to the butter and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the dough comes together. Add some of the remaining 1/4 C of flour if the dough is too wet.

Roll out the dough to about 1/8 in thickness and cut into whatever shape you desire. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool on a rack and fill with a teaspoon or more of dulce de leche (I chose more). Dust the tops with some powdered sugar.

Dulce de Leche from David Lebovitz:

Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
Pour one can (400 gr/14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.

Attempt number 2 was on Thanksgiving.  I did not have enough time to make the dulce de leche, so I used Nutella instead. I honestly thought it was 10x better than with the dulce de leche…but in my books chocolate hazelnut > caramel. hehe Either way, delicious!

Happy Holidays to all!!

-chelle

December 2, 2009 at 2:50 am 2 comments

white velvet butter cupcakes

So many moons ago, or so it seems, I made red velvet cupcakes. I now present you with white velvet butter cupcakes! I’ve been making the white velvet butter cake, but decided on cupcakes this time around. The cupcake recipe is from The Cake Bible, and the buttercream recipe is from Gale Gand, although I used hers only as a guide. I had to change it a bit to make it perfect for the cupcakes.

White Velvet Butter Cupcakes:

  • 4 liquid oz. of egg whites (I’ve found that 3 large eggs cover it, but you might need a 4th depending on your egg)
  • 1 c. milk (1/4th cup for now and 3/4th cups for later)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. sifted cake flour (please use cake flour and not all purpose, I promise it’s better that way)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter softened

Preheat oven to 350F and fill cupcake trays with cupcake wrappers (I managed to make about 30 cupcakes with this recipe). In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla and 1/4 cup milk.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix together to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high if using a hand mixer) for 1.5 minutes. Then add the egg, vanilla and milk mixture in three equal parts, beating for 20 seconds between additions.

Pour the batter into cupcake wrappers. Try to fill each wrapper with an equal amount of batter. I used a 1/4 cup measure and it yielded about 30 cupcakes, all about the same size. Each cupcake wrapper will be about 1/2-3/4  full. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes. Do the toothpick test for “done-ness”. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 c. confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 4 to 5 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

In a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and 1 c. of confectioner’s sugar and 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream. Mix on med until mixture is blended n light. Add another cup of confectioner’s sugar and another cup of heavy whipping cream. Mix again until ingredients are combined and frosting is fluffy. On the last round, add 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix again on med/high until frosting is light and fluffy. Taste your frosting. If it’s not sweet enough, add 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar. If it’s not creamy enough, add another tbsp. of heavy whipping cream.

I added food coloring to my frosting, so I’ve got neon green, although they look more like pastel green and hot pink cupcakes. Colors and piping is what I’ll need to work on next ^__^

A bit of advice: If you’ve never tasted the white velvet butter cake/cupcake, I can tell you its flavor is already on the sweet side and does not need alot of added sweetness in it’s icing. If I could serve just the cupcake alone, I would, but it’s just not as pretty. hehe.  Just keep that in mind when sweetening your buttercream.

Til next time!

-chelle

November 17, 2009 at 5:47 am 2 comments

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